Ensuring safe drinking water in Walgett has been a long-term priority for the Dharriwaa Elders Group (DEG) and the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service (WAMS). Their work has raised awareness of systematic water mismanagement which, exacerbated by both drought and flood, has rendered surface water supplies unreliable and produced high levels of water insecurity for Walgett residents. As a result, Walgett’s long term drinking water security relies on regular and prolonged extraction of groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin.

This Briefing Paper documents a timeline of events in Walgett’s recent history of drinking water management. It sets out the context in which drinking water is accessed, the associated risks, and the story of community advocacy pivotal to change. Its purpose is to inform efforts to improve water security and quality for residents in Walgett and the nearby Namoi and Gingie Villages.

Yuwaya Ngarra-li Briefing Paper: Walgett's Drinking Water 2023